Months of therapy and training at Walter Reed Medical Center have helped Smith continue to gain mobility. He's been swimming and playing golf, along with living his life with his wife, Tori.
Support from family and friends has manifested itself in a variety of ways: traditional moral support and a house built by local non-profit, Steps2Hope, founded by Mark Wilson.
Wilson, and his son, David, know the struggles Smith faces all too well.
David Wilson was nearly buried alive when an EF-4 tornado ripped through his college campus in Jackson, TN.
"The next morning, when he woke up, he couldn't move anything below the waist," recalled Mark Wilson, David's dad.
David, who's legs were crushed, underwent surgery and intense physical therapy just to be able to walk again.
"I can do pretty much everything that I could before, except I can't run as fast," said David.
"The scars are there," said Mark Wilson, referring to the marks left on his son's legs, "but we saw a sign one day that said it best - scars are like tattoos, they just have better stories behind them."